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Administration Home News/Information Contact Us DNR Home   

Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director


News Release : July 28, 2005


Hoy Murphy , Public Information Officer (304) 558-3380

Contact: Major Dave Murphy , Law Enforcement Section (304) 558-2784


Homeland Security Patrol Boats Purchased by DNR


  Five new Division of Natural Resources patrol boats will soon be traveling the Ohio and Kanawha rivers, as DNR conservation officers step up their duties in providing homeland security on the state's navigable waterways. The first of five 24-foot patrol boats was delivered and put into service July 26. It will be stationed on the Kanawha River in Saint Albans. Four other boats will be delivered later this summer and fall. Two will be assigned to the Ohio River near Huntington, and the other two will be dispatched from the DNR district office in Farmington for use on the upper Ohio River.


  The boats were purchased with a $760,000 federal Homeland Security Grant, which pays for the boats, extra motors, radios, GPS navigation, radar and sonar, night vision gear, and other equipment. The boats are equipped with enclosed quarters and have heated cabins so they can be used year round, and the navigation equipment ensures they can be piloted safely in the dark or in foggy conditions.


  “DNR Law Enforcement has been in charge of homeland security patrols on the Ohio and Kanawha rivers ever since September 11, 2005, because of the large number of bridges, locks, dams, chemical plants, and fuel stations along those waterways,” said Law Enforcement Section Chief James Fields. “Before, we only had a few small patrol boats with open cabins, and using them in the winter was hazardous to our conservation officers. These new boats were specially designed for our new duties and will allow us to provide better security for the citizens of our state.”


  The boats are being built by McKee Craft of Fairmont , North Carolina.



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